Emily Lakdawalla • Nov 28, 2012
That amazing image of Saturn's north pole just got better: now, it moves!
Remember the amazing photo of Saturn's north pole that I posted yesterday? Now, thanks to an amateur image processor, it moves, and the motions of the individual clouds within the belts are mesmerizing. Check it out. You may need to wait a bit for all 14 frames to load, but once they do, you'll see a smooth animation. Watch those storms shear and whirl. Some of the apparent cloud motion is not real -- it's due to Cassini's changing perspective -- but most of it is real effects of the differential motions of currents and clouds in Saturn's dynamic atmosphere.
This is something I attempted to produce myself last night, but I could not make it work. I said as much on unmannedspaceflight.com and a newbie there, Kevin McAbee, came to my rescue with this amazing animation. (Clearly he's not a newbie to image processing.) He even shared a couple of intermediate stages so that you can see what he started with. Spectacular work!
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